June 23, 2013

Spent Grain Waffles

Putting spent grain to work is a great way to increase value in your brewing ingredients. The most common uses for spent grain is to make spent grain bread or compost it. Honestly, unless you brew very rarely or happen to own a bakery you will never use all the spent grains you have to make bread (or any food for that matter). Using 2-4 cups of grain per loaf is not a lot of grain. If you brew a lot of five gallon batches that leaves an enormous amount of grain. I usually only save grain from batches heavy on specialty grain, especially if it incorporates a lot of dark specialty malts that can give back a lot of flavor to bread. Spent grain freezes easily in the freezer in ziploc bags.

However, this post isn't about spent grain bread (I'll do that another time). This post is about spent grain waffles. I actually prefer spent grain waffles over the bread because the flavor of the grain pairs fantastically with the waffles. However, it isn't always feasible to break out the waffle iron and waffles are higher calorie than the bread I make so the waffles are often a treat. Fortunately waffle mix freezes well so I usually have a few different waffle batter varieties in the freezer ready for a lazy Saturday morning.

The recipe below is my recipe for spent grain waffles. You can use any waffle recipe with spent grain, including mixing in fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc. or using various toppings. If you feel like you need a lot of beer in your breakfast you can even add spent grain to beer-based batter recipes. This recipe is a plain batter recipe so you just need to add the appropriate amount of spent grain plus anything else you might want to try. The easiest way to pair different kinds of spent grain with other additions is to think about what you see used in different beers. For example, stout spent grains pair well with raspberries (a particular favorite of mine). You can also mix grain from different beers too.

I like to use a lot of spent grain in my waffles so I use two cups of spent grain. For less of a grain flavor you can start off with one cup and then figure out if you want more spent grain in subsequent batches. Because the grain will add a little extra water to the grain I use a little less oil in this recipe than many waffle batter recipes use. Otherwise I think the waffles end up a little too oily and don't crisp on the outside. However, if you find the waffles are too dry you should add two tablespoons of oil to the recipe for subsequent batches (and a little butter to the dry waffles you already made).

Spent Grain Waffles Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1-2 cups of spent grain
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps:

1. Heat waffle iron.

2. Whisk together wet ingredients.

3. Slowly add dry ingredients.

4. Add waffle batter to waffle iron in amount appropriate for the iron. Cook following the waffle iron's instructions.

Using one cup of batter per waffle will yield around four or five waffles about the size of a salad plate. Scale up or down accordingly. You can freeze waffles but I prefer to freeze leftover batter and make fresh waffles. You can freeze the batter in ziploc bags.

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